DFDS to phase out fossil fuels

DFDS wants to be climate neutral by 2050. This will not happen through energy savings and incremental improvements alone. We are looking into a completely new situation for our industry, where the type of vessels, how they are operated, how we fuel them, where we get fuel and how they connect to the necessary infrastructure will be radically different from how we operate today.

“Adapting or replacing your fleet is expensive,” says DFDS’s Head of Innovation and Partnerships, Jakob Steffensen. “We are constantly seeking information to be able to make the right long-term decisions to become climate neutral. But we lack information and knowledge about the new kinds of fuels and technologies that will run ships in the not too distant future.”


The right knowledge through open innovation and partners

“When you work with innovation – coming up with radical new solutions to existing and future challenges – you can go two ways to find the knowledge you need. You can buy knowledge by hiring people or you can cast a wider net and seek partnerships and joint ventures with other companies and organisations, to be able to get an even broader pool of knowledge and contacts. We choose to work in partnerships because it gives us access to bright minds working in other organisations,” Jakob says.

“Our many projects within decarbonisation and automation help us qualify our assumptions every day. They also help us understand how the rest of the marine industry and those connected to it go about reducing their emissions.”

The Innovation & Partnerships team has a project portfolio aimed at providing the answers and partners DFDS needs to become climate neutral. We are involved in a massive hydrogen factory in Copenhagen and we have the Ark Germania test vessel where we will test fuel cells, to name a few.


Investigating, trying, testing 

Changing the type of fuel on which a ship runs on is not a decision to be taken lightly. It has a massive impact on all aspects of our industry. Conclusions and choices are difficult to make as climate neutral fuels and technologies are still in their infancy. Some are more sophisticated and market-ready than others, but on a whole, there is very little out there that you can buy off the shelf, put it into your business and voilà – you reduce emissions. By doing joint investigative projects, we can go deep into theories and test them, without committing to specific technologies or equipment. And that is where we are now: investigating, trying, testing,” Jakob says.

“Some industry actors seem to be jumping to conclusions and placing their bets on one kind of fuel. It’s human nature to want to stick with what we understand. And if we see that a ship can run on methanol, some people may say ‘done! That’s what we’re choosing’. But the choice of fuel is not a choice we are ready to make just yet. There are too many unknowns. What if the aviation industry goes for methanol, too? How can we know that there’s enough to go around for everyone and that the price of it doesn’t skyrocket? We don’t want to end up in a situation where the shortage of some of the elements we need for our fuel trigger a “who is willing to pay most” competition between aviation and shipping, for instance. We need to keep investigating and assessing results on an ongoing basis before we make decisions that cannot be unmade.”


Ammonia, hydrogen, methanol

“We do already know a few things,” Jakob says about the renewable energy sources that will replace fossil fuel at DFDS. “We know which fuels have the biggest potential to work in shipping: ammonia, hydrogen, methanol. So far so good. And we know that we have until 2026/2027 to make a qualified choice of which fuels and vessels to go for. That’s our deadline: 2050 seems like an eternity away, but in an industry where a ship’s lifetime is about 25 years, the ones we purchase just five years from now will have a decisive effect on our ability to achieve our climate goals.


In a good position

If anyone in the industry can achieve this, I believe it is us,” Jakob says. “It’s engrained in our culture that we listen before we make decisions, and that’s vital at this stage. We also share openly and because of that, our partners share, too. We know which partners to seek out and we work with them every single day. Our open partnership approach puts us in a good position to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.”

How are you (really) doing?

The Covid-19 situation has caused substantial changes to the world and DFDS. Our local societies have been severely impacted by the pandemic, as has our business. As employees and organisations, we have experienced substantial changes in the way we work.

Many of us are working from home, and even though this helps reduce the risk of Covid-19, it can still have serious consequences for some colleagues. With the current development, it is unfortunately not possible to set an end-date for this situation.

We are naturally concerned about this, and it is important for us to know whether you feel that we, as a company, are doing the right things to handle the situation and the uncertainties it causes. We have therefore created a simple survey where we ask about your well-being. It aims to ensure we get input from you and other colleagues throughout our network, to get an understanding of your concerns.

The survey in the link below is voluntary, anonymous and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete. Based on this, we hope to get an overview of what issues we can address, to support you and help you thrive in the best way possible. We will end the survey by 23 September, so please complete it before then.

Local HR will be able to distribute the survey via personal emails for colleagues who do not have regular access to the Bridge. You can also access the survey via this QR code:

Anne-Christine Ahrenkiel

Chief People Officer

Go to survey

DFDS climate plan: next ten years

DFDS’ climate plan will make us climate neutral by 2050. Our short-term plan is to reduce emissions by 45 % from 2008 to 2030. Our main focus is on existing vessels and minor technical upgrades. We will use solutions like correct coating on vessel hulls and decision support systems onboard and in the office. But the fleet will also undergo major upgrades, with modifications of bulbs and propellers.

The plan is based on careful analysis of how we operate today, and which areas have the greatest potential for improvement. It is about evolution – improving and optimising what we have today – while the long term plan is more of a revolution – how we can do things in completely new ways.


Artificial intelligence will help us

Today, we have a monthly fuel report for our vessel operations, but no insights as to what is behind the numbers. We know what we use, but not how these figures are accumulated. Our crews and their shore-side support teams need better information on how they can operate in a more fuel-efficient way. For this, we will use a tool based on artificial intelligence (AI) that will monitor our vessel operations. This data will inform us about where we have excessive fuel consumption, both on routes and on individual vessels.

This new smart AI system located on the vessels’ bridge will give the crews qualified directions on what is the right speed and also real-time advice on which route will help the fuel on board last longer. After a crossing, there will be a report on what the crew has done well in terms of consuming fuel, and also where they can improve.


Promising results with methanol

We plan to introduce small amounts of methanol in the existing propulsion machinery on many of our vessels, in the four stroke engines that make up the majority of our fleet. Together with onsite-produced hydrogen, we will inject the methanol into combustion chambers, replacing up to 10-15% of the heavy fuel oil needed to fuel the same voyage today. This technology  is still under development and we expect it to be approved by engine manufacturers during 2020. We have already done initial testing and the results look promising.

Through doing this, we hope to be able to push the market demand for sustainable fuels like green methanol, one of several fuel sources we continue to investigate. This could have a positive ripple effect on the development of green fuel production nationally and internally.


More efficient hulls

Optimising our use of fuel is one very important factor when it comes to reducing emissions. Another is what we do to improve the hulls, coating and shaping of the propeller curves for a vessel to be able to sail in a more fuel-efficient manner.

“We are constantly scanning the market to pinpoint new ways of optimising what we have,” says Vice President of DFDS’ Technical Organisation Thomas Mørk. “We continuously assess where we should set in based on where we can harvest the greatest effect. The bottom line is that not only are we saving the environment from thousands of tons of CO2 every year, we are also able to work with fuel consumption in a smarter way. In time, this will help us run our vessels cheaper and greener and that just makes good business sense,” Thomas says.

Read more about DFDS’ ambitious climate plan

More on this in the coming weeks







DFDS develops ambitious climate plan

We want to become climate neutral by 2050 and are aiming for a relative reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by close to 45% from 2008 to 2030. That corresponds to an approximate reduction of 25-35% between 2019 and 2030. These are the main goals in DFDS’ new climate action plan.


In 2019, DFDS emitted ~2 million tons of CO2. 90% was from our vessels. Continuing to do so would have a negative impact on the environment and climate. It would also put us at significant economic risk: customers will find more climate-friendly suppliers and the costs related to regulatory requirements will increase.


DFDS’ response to this is a new strategic climate action plan that will make us climate neutral by 2050. We are aiming for a relative reduction of GHG emissions by close to 45% from 2008 to 2030. That corresponds to an approximate reduction of 25-35% between 2019 and 2030.


Team members from the Technical Organisation, Innovation & Partnerships, CSR, and Strategy & Consulting have supported management in the development of this plan, and the Executive Management Team will track its development on a quarterly basis.


Three tracks leading to the finish line
The  plan consists of two overall tracks covering the tonnage adaption in short term and long term, as well as a third track ‘getting the house in order’ that covers all other things like facilities and terminal equipment.


The short-term tonnage adaption plan consists of initiatives to be implemented throughout the next 10 years, resulting in close to 45% reduction from 2008 to 2030. It widely consists of minor technical upgrades, including solutions like the use of the correct coatings on vessel hulls and decision support systems. But the fleet will also undergo major upgrades, like modifications of bulbs and propellers.

The long-term tonnage adaption plan is all about how we replace fossil fuels with the new generation of zero emission fuel. The new sustainable fuels are renewable energy stored in the form of for instance ammonia, hydrogen, or methanol. Storing, handling and using these new fuels is very different to how we do things today. We need to learn a lot to be able to make the right strategic decisions. Projects and partnerships will help us learn and share knowledge and reach our goals. The long-term tonnage adaption plan focuses on our new generation of ships.


Getting the house in order addresses the remaining 10% of our total emissions. In short, emissions that don’t come from our vessel-related activities. Initiatives like electric trucks, energy consumption for buildings and hybrid/electric company cars will engage all our colleagues across the business in helping DFDS develop ways of becoming more sustainable. Many of these initiatives are done in cooperation with key suppliers to reduce environmental impact.


DFDS CEO Torben Carlsen says: “I am very happy that we now have this ambitious and comprehensive climate action plan in place. It clearly states how we can and will take responsibility for the environment. It will also help us stay relevant as a service provider in 10, 15, 50 years from now. With the support of every one of our employees, we will be able to turn this plan into reality and at the same time continue our existing efforts to support the environment and local communities.”


More on this in the coming weeks

Sustainable fuels: DFDS part of ambitious project

Today, DFDS, Copenhagen Airports, A.P. Moller – Maersk, DSV Panalpina, SAS and Ørsted informed the press about a unique partnership. The partnership’s vision is to develop a new ground-breaking hydrogen and e-fuel production facility in the Greater Copenhagen area as soon as 2023.

The project will require a large-scale supply of renewable electricity, which could potentially come from offshore wind power produced at Rønne Banke off the island of Bornholm.

When fully scaled-up by 2030, production would potentially be based on a total electrolyser capacity of 1.3 gigawatts, which would likely make it one of the world’s largest facilities of its kind. It could deliver more than 250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuel, which would reduce annual carbon emissions by 850,000 tonnes.

The project is supported by the Municipality of Copenhagen and could supply renewable hydrogen for zero-emission busses, heavy-duty trucks, renewable methanol for ships, and renewable jet fuel for airplanes.

Industrial-scale production to reduce costs
To become competitive with fossil fuels, the production of sustainable fuels will need to be built at industrial scale. For this to happen, governments and industry must come together to create a framework that incentivises private investments in large-scale sustainable fuel production.

The vision is to develop the project in three stages:

The first stage, which could be operational by 2023, comprises a 10MW electrolyser which can produce renewable hydrogen used directly to fuel busses and trucks.

Stage two comprises a 250MW electrolyser facility which could be operational by 2027 when the first offshore wind power from Bornholm could be delivered. This facility would produce renewable methanol for maritime transport and renewable jet-fuel for the aviation sector.

Stage three, which could be operational by 2030 would upgrade the project’s electrolyser capacity to 1.3GW and capture more sustainable CO2, enough to supply more than 250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuels.

“Sustainably produced hydrogen is the fundamental building block, and biggest cost driver of all the zero emission fuels. This project brings the scale that is needed in order to industrialise the production of green hydrogen, and thereby significantly reduce the cost of zero emission fuels for aviation, road transport and shipping. I really believe this is a strong step in the direction of a carbon neutral transport industry,” says Jakob Steffensen, Director of DFDS’ innovation department and DFDS’ member of the project group.

The partnership will now engage in dialogue with the regulatory authorities on the framework and policies needed to support the development of using sustainable fuels at scale in the transport sector in Denmark, and to seek public co-funding to conduct a full feasibility study of the project .

Torben Carlsen says: “The ability to establish a vision of an industrial-scale sustainable fuel production facility is due to the power of partnerships. The cooperation of fuel users and producers along with scientists and society is the fastest way to make sustainable fuels available as realistic alternatives to the fossil fuels we combust in our vehicles and vessels today. I hope that this partnership and our project will help us reach our goal of operating zero-emission ferries and trucks much faster than we had originally anticipated.”

See the full press release here.

DFDS Jubilee Fund supports colleagues in need

In 1916, DFDS celebrated its 50th anniversary by establishing the DFDS Jubilee Fund that financially supports employees of DFDS, former employees or the next of kin of deceased employees.

The support may also be granted to internal associations that support colleagues in need, or other associations with a relevance to DFDS.

Maximum support is DKK 50,000, and everyone in our network with a relationship to DFDS, as outlined above, may apply for support.

Online application
The applications will be considered twice a year by a board consisting of members of the Executive Management team.

As something new, the application form and all relevant information, including criteria for applying, deadlines and more can be found on www.dfds.com under ‘About DFDS’ – or via this link: DFDS Jubilee Fund page

If you have any questions for the DFDS Jubilee Fund or making an application please contact jubileefund@dfds.com.

Climate FAQ now on DFDS.com

Poul Woodall, DFDS’ Director of Environment, answers your questions about our greenhouse gas reduction efforts with a FAQ on DFDS.com


Whereas our part of the world is facing a temporary slowdown, the long-term issues for our industry remains. A crucial element here, is the effort we put in to fighting climate change through greenhouse gas reduction efforts.

We have seen an increasing awareness among our business and leisure customers on climate gas issues and the flow of questions has been on the rise.

To improve our communication efforts in this area we have now launched a ‘greenhouse gas FAQ’ in the CSR section of DFDS.com. Find it here.

On this page one will find the DFDS position to some commonly asked questions. We will naturally keep this page updated and try to ensure the most relevant questions are replied here.

We expect shortly to also include a ‘CO2 calculator’ which will provide the option of estimating the CO2 footprint for a transport in the DFDS network.

Any feedback and not least any suggestions for enhancing the list, ensuring it has the optimal value will be appreciated.

Reach out to the CSR team with your ideas.


Poul Woodall, DFDS’ Director of Environment

BU Med is targeting improved Health and Safety

Özge Süalp Altun is new Head of Health and Safety in BU Med.


BU Med is targeting improved HSE (Health, Safety & Environment) standards in operations as an important goal for 2020. As a new resource for this purpose, C. Özge Süalp Altun started her role as Head of HSE in BU Med on 3 February, reporting to Kemal Bozkurt, VP Operations for BU Med.

Özge will be working to improve standards on Health and Safety Management on terminals and vessels, aiming to establish a common monitoring, reporting and management approach within the unit. She is a “Class A Occupational Health & Safety Specialist” with experience in international working environments.

Kemal Bozkurt, VP Operations, says: “Following the unfortunate incident we had in Trieste back in October, 2019, we have launched an Health and Safety project to review and improve the HSE standards within our area of responsibility.”

“Detailed analysis and field inspections were conducted within the scope of the project. The action plan is being executed with most of it are already in place, and we are now restructuring the Health & Safety organisation to further strengthen our operational control in the field. I’m excited to see the contribution of Özge and wish her the best for her new endavour.”

Özge says, “I am very excited to be a member of such a big international family and I have felt the warm welcome from the very start. I’m also fully aware of the challenges ahead of me and I believe that I will contribute to the new Occupational Health and Safety structure with my experience and knowledge.”

Rescuing abandoned pets in Calais

Hear the story of César and the partnership with animal rescue LPA.


A partnership between DFDS and animal rescue charity LPA (Ligue de Protection des Animaux du Calais) in Calais helps animals left behind at the terminal. This greatly improves the rate and speed of adoption to avoid pets becoming strays.

Many animals, especially dogs, are sadly each year left behind by their owners at the Calais terminal, often because of problems with paperwork or vaccinations. Yaneth, Adam and their Boxer dog, Columbo, recently had trouble with their pet passport and received a helping hand from DFDS, but sometimes the misfortune is not solved, and an animal is left behind. One of them, German Shepherd César, was abandoned at Calais Port.

Watch the video for César’s story and see how the partnership with LPA works. It all came about after a DFDS member of staff in Calais became increasingly concerned about the fate of pets abandoned at Calais.

DFDS staff at the terminal have even taken abandoned pets home rather than see them become strays. One of the operations co-ordinators at Calais, Mélanie Declercq, decided to try to find a more practical solution, which is already making a difference.

Florent Dagbert, general manager of the LPA, Calais, says the DFDS partnership has meant they are able to help pets much more effectively: “Because they already have papers, the animals do not have to be kept in quarantine, isolated from people and other dogs, for months. The partnership with DFDS allows us to adopt animals more quickly and easily.”

DFDS signs gender equality charter

Transport and shipping are male dominated industries and even though things have improved in recent years, there is still a significant lack of female employees and leaders.

DFDS is getting closer with 29% women in positions ashore and 18% at sea. However, there is still a significant lack of women in leading positions, even though the Executive Management Team has become more balanced recently.

There is a strong will to increase the share of women. Therefore, DFDS, along with other Danish shipping companies, signed a charter that obliges the companies to actively focus on gender equality. And this is not because it looks nice on paper:

“We need to do something about this to become a better company that makes better decisions. All research documents that you need to reach a level where the underrepresented gender makes out a third of the team before you get equal and balanced discussions,” says Torben Carlsen.

“We need to attract more of the female talents from other industries. Today, they usually do not choose a maritime career,” he says.

“I am very happy about the charter. I think we are doing a lot at DFDS. Diversity is a corner stone in our CSR strategy that is supported by the Executive Management Team and the Board of Directors. How to improve the gender was a key issue at the recent Annual Management Conference and VP seminars, and recently, all VP’s have developed 3 years plan for how to improve diversity in general, in their organisations. It doesn’t change overnight, but when the entire shipping community pushes the agenda, it will certainly speed up development,” says Sofie Hebeltoft, Director of our CSR department

“The charter is very good news. I believe that with gender equality at the top of the shipping community’s agenda, it will send a strong signal and invitation to female talents that they are wanted in our business and that we can offer them a great work environment and prosperous career opportunities,” says Anne-Christine Ahrenkiel, Chief People Officer, EVP.

Watch Danish Shipping’s video about gender equality here.

See Danish Shipping’s charter here.


Hybrid and electric vehicles are becoming popular

Left: Alvydas Mačius, Terminal Operations Manager in Klaipėda, charges their electric Nissan. Right: Julie Walker, Security Manager and Jason Norfolk, Security Officer, posing with three new electric vans for the Immingham security team


Many locations are replacing their old petrol- and diesel-powered company cars with electric and hybrid options. Recently the Immingham Terminal security team took delivery of three electric vans to join in the move to support DFDS’ CSR strategy and the aim of reducing emissions. A positive trend is accelerating, confirms Head of CSR Sofie Hebeltoft.


At DFDS, our colleagues often have the need to get around, whether it’s for security, terminal duties or meetings, so we have quite a few company cars. However, as most of the use is for short distances and is irregular rather than constant, there is a great case for using hybrid and electric cars and vans in our company fleet.

Fortunately, we can report that the use of these vehicles at DFDS is increasing at a high rate. When the infrastructure is in place, these types of vehicles have proven popular with our locations, as demonstrated by the many purchase orders and leases.

Immingham recently took delivery of three fully electric vans for the security team in an effort to further reduce our CO2 footprint at the terminal. They will be used by the team for their daily duties, and to provide increased capacity for moving equipment. This supports our terminal operations staff in ensuring that security is maintained.

Lee Bayliss, Director of Health, Safety & Security in Immingham, says: “This is a real shift in how we use vehicles at our terminals. Historically we have procured diesel-powered vehicles, which at low speeds churn out large deposits of CO2 and don’t run well over time. The procurement of the new vans reaffirms our commitment and support of the CSR strategy in reducing unnecessary carbon emissions. With no NOx particles coming from the electric motors, this positively impacts our environmental footprint within our area of responsibility, as these pollutants affect the health of those working around them.”

A clear trend at our locations

The numbers we received show that quite a few locations have one or two electric or hybrid vehicles, while many others have a handful. In Sweden the transition is expected to be almost total as the older petrol- or diesel-powered vehicles are replaced.

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR, says: “We see a clear trend at our locations as our colleagues in many parts of the business report that the number of electric and hybrid company cars is increasing via new purchases and leasing agreements.”

“In the UK and Northern Ireland alone, we lease 40 hybrid or electric vehicles for our company fleet. As an example, this represents approximately half of the cars in use by terminal staff, security and managers. In the UK there are tax benefits in using electric and hybrid company cars, which of course boosts adoption. This year we are going to look at the DFDS company car policy to support the change from diesel to hybrid and electric options.”

In several locations where it isn’t currently possible to charge electric or hybrid cars, work is being done to remedy this. It includes infrastructure, port arrangements and green sources of electricity. In just a few weeks, DFDS House in Copenhagen will have two charging stations for use by both employees and guests. With currently four hybrids and one electric van on location plus personal vehicles, this is very welcome.

Reports confirming the trend have come in from: Sweden, UK & Northern Ireland, Gothenburg Terminal, Logistics Immingham, Kiel Terminal, Vlaardingen, Klaipėda, Dover, Peterborough, Copenhagen and more. Thanks to all who have reported back so far.

Incept Sustainability offers free e-learning

All DFDS employees can sign up to four short sessions with Incept Sustainability about working with sustainability in mind.


Last summer we invited the start-up company Incept Sustainability to hold a workshop in DFDS House about working with sustainability in mind. Their presentation and material were very well received by participants.

As part of developing their tools, the company now offers all DFDS employees free access to their new web-based learning modules. Taken in four 30-minute sessions, the topics include the environmental situation, social aspects and business opportunities. These cover: making sustainable decisions, UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, emission evaluation methods, and much more. If you missed out on the 2019 workshop in Copenhagen, you’re in luck.

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR, says: “This is your opportunity to learn more about sustainability, both in general and in relation to DFDS. Through the program it will also be possible for the participants to provide me with input about what you think is most relevant for your work and for DFDS.”

Fill out the form below to receive access to the modules, which will run through the course of February 2020. If you have any questions, please write to Sofie Hebeltoft at soheb@dfds.com.

Sign up here.

Klaipėda colleagues give blood for the holidays

Holiday blood drive helps local patients in need. From left: Goda Baltuonė, Vaidas Krūmas and Robertas Kogelis


Vaidas Krūmas and Goda Baltuonė, Category Managers from Baltic Onboard Sales team, invited DFDS staff at Klaipėda offices to join a good cause – to donate blood to those who need it most.
Doctors and nurses at Klaipėda branch of the National Blood Centre were very happy to welcome DFDS staff. They noted a general increase in donations for the month of November by generous Klaipėda citizens, our colleagues included, with 1,177 donations in total.

Goda says: “Christmas time is a period when staff at the centre are in urgent need of donations. Vaidas and I felt we needed to raise awareness and encourage colleagues to join this initiative where we can help others and save lives. There are local DFDS staff who regularly visit this centre, however as an example, this initiative encouraged Robertas Kogelis to overcome small fears and donate blood for the first time in his life.”

“It wasn‘t as scary as it may seem,“ adds Robertas Kogelis, Director Onboard Sales Baltic Sea.

DFDS Polska support fundraising for child with a brain tumour

DFDS Polska organise cake sales to raise money for 6-year-old Jasiu Woźniak

The Christmas period is a special time of the year, where among all this chaos of buying presents and finishing all our important festive stuff, there is also a bit of time for reflection and taking part in charity events.

This year in DFDS Polska we have an opportunity to help one of our employee’s family – 6-year-old Jasiu Woźniak – in raising funds (more than 700.000EUR is required) for his lifesaving brain tumour treatment.

As always in such cases, time is crucial, therefore we decided to organise on Wednesday 11 December in DFDS Polska building, a bake sale during which we were collecting money for his treatment. We were selling homemade cakes prepared by DFDS Polska employees and encouraging everyone from the many business in our building to share our initiative via social media and help us towards the financial goal. The action was really well received, and we would like to thank all those who baked delicious cakes and contributed to the success of the event:
@Marta Norkiewicz, @Patrycja Brzezinska, @Katarzyna Gizińska, @Magdalena Plonka, @Joanna Kicinska, @Anna Sut, @Agnieszka Plichcińska, @Marta Przybyl, @Katarzyna Jankiewicz, @Aleksandra Appelt, @Monika Brzoska, @Weronika Branicka,@Karol Janochowski

The goal of 700.000 EUR is a long way from being reached, but encouraged by the success of our cake sale, we decided to organise it again on Wednesday morning 18 December.

We are aware that with such a huge collection it’s important to engage as many people as possible. There are other local initiatives in Poznań city which are already taking place, so if anyone else would like to join us and support, please share via your social media profiles and link to the official fundraising site for Jasiek:


We all believe that even though the treatment is extremely expensive and not affordable by any individual, by sharing, engaging and collaborating – especially with the festive spirit – it will save Jasiek’s life and we may all be part of it.

Christmas lunch for homeless once again a heart-warming event

Part of DFDS’ CSR strategy is to support local community engagement, and one of the original initiatives in this area is the annual Christmas lunch for homeless men and women in Copenhagen and Oslo.

On Tuesday 3 December, DFDS once again invited 250 of Copenhagen’s homeless people on board Pearl Seaways to enjoy a wonderful Christmas lunch. This year marked the 10th anniversary of this tradition, and the ship was bursting with Christmas spirit from Mr and Mrs Santa Claus, the VoiceZone choir and much more.

Stine Rysgaard Jensen from the Marketing Brand team says: “Ten years ago, it all started as an idea among the employees on board Pearl. Today, it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without it! I’m really happy to be part of it, and despite the fact that time changes, the DFDS Christmas lunch for the homeless doesn’t. Its ‘same procedure as last year’ – every year – because it works, and the homeless men and women look forward to it long before Christmas. It is truly heart-warming to see how much they enjoy this event and how grateful they are.”

As an extra add on – in relation to the 10th anniversary – ahead of this year’s event, colleagues in DFDS House made contributions which were spent on new jackets and Christmas presents for 24 men and women at the RG60 youth shelter in Copenhagen.

Stine says: “A huge thank you for all your contributions! This year we’ve made a little video to show you what went on in all the preparations for the event. A way of giving you an introduction to the happiness that 250 homeless people can feel when being welcomed back ‘home’ on Pearl. We hope you enjoy it.”

The importance of a diverse DFDS

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR, outlines the work being done for diversity in DFDS.


At DFDS, we have put diversity high on the agenda.
We have come a long way in highlighting the gender gap at DFDS and within the industry, and the relatively few women in management positions.

We believe it is of great benefit to keep working on this, but we can also benefit from working with other kinds of diversity, such as age, ethnicity, religion, education, personality and much more.

Colleagues with different perspectives can, for instance, be helpful in problem-solving and decision-making when knowledge and different points of view are shared.

We also face a potential shortage of qualified staff, and so it is crucial to see the potential in everyone. Otherwise, we will exclude ourselves from a big pool of potential colleagues.

Working towards targets

Over the last year we have worked actively with diversity at DFDS, including:

• Workshops across the business
• Core committee focusing on the topic
• Activities for Pride
• Job decoder focusing on gender bias in job postings
• Identifying role models and best practice stories from DFDS locations everywhere

Across DFDS, we have set a target of a 30/70 gender split at the following levels:

• The Board
• Senior management (Executive Management Team and Vice Presidents)
• Managers
• Employees in general

All VPs are in the process of setting targets for their areas of the business for the short, medium and long terms: one, three and five years respectively.

These targets can apply to gender diversity as well as other forms of diversity, so no matter what the specific circumstances are, it is possible to put together an ambitious plan. A summary of the VP’s plans and targets will then be presented to the Executive Management Team, who will assist with shaping the direction of the plans.

Changing the gender split, for example, will not happen overnight. In many cases, it is as much a change of culture as it is a management decision.

However, it is important, which is why we are going to keep working at it and improve as a company to fulfil our purpose – We move for all to grow.

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR

DFDS welcomed press to scrubber event

Last week DFDS, in collaboration with Clean Ship Alliance 2020, welcomed 11 journalists from various international trade publications on board Freesia Seaways and in the Ghent terminal. DFDS’ hosts were Poul Woodall, Director of Environment, and Sam de Wilde, Managing Director of Ferry Belgium.

The purpose of the visit was to give the guests a first-hand impression of a marine scrubber – an event that coincided with the 10th anniversary of the initial scrubber installation on Ficaria Seaways.

Following a tour of Freesia, which included a front row view of the drone testing highlighted in a recent article, the group was hosted at the North Sea Ports visitors centre where various presentations were made by DFDS, North Sea Ports and Clean Shipping Alliance 2020.

Lunch was enjoyed while sailing around the harbour and ended with seeing Freesia Seaways steaming up the river on its way back to Gothenburg.

The Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020) represents a group of leading companies from the commercial and passenger shipping industries that have been leaders in emission control efforts.

DFDS tests aluminium sail concept

An interesting take on wind-power made by Econowind has now been installed on Lysbris Seaways for testing.


A metal sail in a box is a novel concept, but it could be a solution to save fuel and emissions for shipping by utilising the power of the wind that nearly all ships once relied on.

The prototype seen in the video above was installed on the deck of Lysbris Seaways on Wednesday 13 November in Amsterdam. What Dutch company Econowind has created is a foldable aluminium sail concept that sits on the deck of a vessel. It comes in a 40-foot container and is a far cry from historic sail designs, as two metallic 10-metre foils, or wings, fold out with the press of a button.

The design and software let the wings move to optimally catch the wind and help propel the vessel forward. Just last week the company received the Dutch Maritime Innovation award for the Econowind unit, which shows promise from earlier testing.

Poul Woodall, Director of Environment, and Vidar Karlsen, Managing Director in Norway, signed the agreement in September for the collaboration with Econowind and Green Shipping Programme (Grønt Skipsfartsprogram or GSP), a Norwegian programme for research into, and development of, green shipping solutions. GSP delivers a theoretical modelling of historic weather data, consumption, routes and more that we use for testing.

Vidar says: “Lysbris Seaways is perfect for testing such a concept. In theory it looks like a good idea, but we need to see if the estimated fuel savings are realistic for this type of vessel. We are going to measure fuel consumption with the sail and get a picture of the efficiency gained over time compared to the regular numbers.”

“The finalised design works automatically, meaning you can open the container from the bridge and open the sail, but for the prototype it’s a bit more hands-on with manual controls and a service engineer present to operate the system. After a successful installation we are now looking forward to seeing the outcome of the two months of testing,” Vidar adds.

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR, says: “With projects like this we take responsibility for developing new energy sources and methods of propulsion that can take us towards cleaner ships and eventually zero emission shipping. We are therefore extremely grateful for initiatives such as this taken on by Vidar and his team.”

DFDS wins environmental award for scrubber strategy

CSR Director Sofie Hebeltoft was in Rotterdam today, 6 November, to accept the GREEN4SEA EUROPORT Ship Operator Award for our early and ambitious scrubber strategy


We assume it was a very proud moment for CSR Director Sofie Hebeltoft when she was asked to come to the green4sea-europort-awards ceremony in Rotterdam today, 6 November 2019, to receive the ‘GREEN4SEA EUROPORT Ship Operator Award.

In fact, it was an event to celebrate for everyone at DFDS as we received the award for our decision to install scrubbers on our ships in the Mediterranean.

As Sofie said when she addressed the audience to thank the committee for the award, we are extremely proud of and grateful for the recognition as we feel we took a risk as early movers already in 2009 when we started developing a scrubber on Ficaria Seaways. And again in 2013 when we decided on our ambitious scrubber strategy to comply with the very strict 2015 sulphur regulations for the Baltic, the North Sea and the Channel. Therefore, we were able to surpass most other ferry and shipping companies with our early decision to install scrubbers in our ships in the Mediterranean to comply with the upcoming 2020 global sulphur regulations and our own environmental policy of reducing our impact on the environment.

The committee will soon launch a video interview with Sofie about the award, which you can see here: https://europort.safety4sea.com/green4sea-europort-awards/

The award winners were:
• GREEN4SEA EUROPORT Energy Efficiency Award – Jotun
• GREEN4SEA EUROPORT Clean Shipping Award – Port of Rotterdam
• GREEN4SEA EUROPORT Technology Award – Wärtsilä
• GREEN4SEA EUROPORT Ship Operator Award – DFDS
• GREEN4SEA EUROPORT Initiative Award – ESPO

The shortlist for the Ship Operator Award that DFDS won

DFDS and WeShelter celebrates 10-year anniversary

WeShelter is an organization that has been doing social work in Copenhagen since 1893. The organization runs numerous shelters in and around the city which provide vulnerable men and women living on the street with food, a safe place to sleep, psychological and medical consultations, and whenever possible, help them in the process of moving into their own housing.

This year, we welcome back Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus and the gospel choir, Voice Zone, who have volunteered for us for the last couple of years. Lisa Larsen, General Manager at WeShelter, says that for many of WeShelter’s homeless, the DFDS Christmas lunch is a highlight of the season:

“Christmas time is a time where homelessness and loneliness can feel particularly difficult. Very few of the men and women who stay at our shelters have a family, and their network is often very small, so when the rest of us get together with our families over Christmas, the feeling of being an outsider in society intensifies. With this Christmas lunch, DFDS gives homeless and vulnerable people a fantastic day to look forward to – a day where they are the center of attention. It spreads so much joy to know that there are those out there who are thinking of them, a joy that can be felt throughout the year.”

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR, says: “I was at the Christmas lunch last year and feeling the great atmosphere as well as seeing the well-organized event really showed what great collaborations can achieve. Throughout the year, we contribute with a mini-cruise for every donation of 200 DKK donated to WeShelter and the Christmas lunch is a culmination of that cooperation. At DFDS, we have the ambition and the resources to act for the benefit of social responsibility and do good for the society and local communities – the 10-year anniversary of the Christmas lunch is a perfect example of that.

Pictures provided by WeShelter:

DFDS speaks at investor relations conference about CSR

CSR and sustainability were on the agenda when Claus V Hemmingsen, Sofie Hebeltoft and Søren Brøndholt spoke to the Danish Investor Relations Society (DIRS).


Sustainability was at the forefront at the annual DIRS day in late September for investor relations (IR) professionals.

DFDS was asked to speak about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability, and share our perspectives from the boardroom as well as the CSR and IR departments.

Søren Brøndholt Nielsen, VP of IR & Corporate Planning, first introduced DFDS and talked about CSR in an investor context. A key point was that CSR is not a priority in meetings for most investors, and this lack of interest is likely related to how investors are currently incentivised and a low level of perceived risk on CSR-issues for DFDS.

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR, spoke about our CSR strategy; how we create awareness; how we address CSR requests from external stakeholders, and our internal and external CSR reporting.

Claus V Hemmingsen, Chair of the DFDS Board, spoke about sustainability from a board perspective, and how it is growing in importance for DFDS: “The world around us is increasingly focusing on sustainability … We (the board and management) are the ones who mandate spending resources on these elements, and this is not a new direction for DFDS.”

Sofie says: “We received plenty of great feedback. People appreciated the perspectives we gave, and the fact that Claus took part in the presentation. We also noted how other companies are addressing some of the same challenges faced by DFDS.”

Hamburg office drops the plastic bottles

The Logistics office Staff decided to do something about the tower of plastic bottles. Andrea Krüger-Klisch from Customer Service brought the water dispenser solution to the Hamburg Logistics Office to cut down on water bottle deliveries.


Inspired by his Sodastream at home, Sven Ohlsen, MD Hamburg, got the good idea that something similar ought to be possible in the office as well.

So, Andrea Krüger-Klisch, Customer Service, was put to the task and not long after our new water dispenser arrived at the office. It doesn’t just provide tap water, but also cooled tap water, still or sparkling.

Instead of having plastic water bottles delivered weekly, during the summertime even 2-3 times per week, we expect to have to change the gas cylinder 20 times per year. That amounts to 50 fewer deliveries, which is a lot of saved CO2. On top of that comes close to 5000 plastic bottles that we will no longer receive, so it’s even better.

Niels Johansen, Continental Sales Director, says: “Today, each of our colleagues is equipped with their own plastic or glass bottle, with free refills of course. Even easy solutions must come to mind first, but it is important that we always consider Corporate Social Responsibility, privately as well as in our work life. Prost!”




DFDS joins Young SDG Innovators Programme

Johanna Von Der Decken and Lee Christensen have joined the Young SDG Innovators Programme, teaming up to create an innovative and sustainable solution to a real business case in DFDS.


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an important part of DFDS’ CSR strategy, and we are pleased to announce that DFDS has joined the Young SDG Innovators Programme.

The 10-month programme organised by the UN Global Compact kicked off last week, with Lee Christensen from Passenger Strategy and Johanna Von Der Decken from Procurement representing DFDS. Participants are there to develop their talents and gain valuable knowledge about sustainability and innovation.

During the programme, Lee and Johanna will work together to identify a real business challenge related to one of the 17 SDGs and then come up with an innovative solution that can be implemented in the business.

Johanna says: “It’s an exciting opportunity, and I’m looking forward to identifying challenges and opportunities for DFDS to become more sustainable. Personally, I hope to gain more knowledge and tools to help us get from an idea phase to implementation.”

Lee says: “I’m really excited and proud to be joining this programme. I look forward to gaining knowledge and skills about how to work with more sustainable business models and initiatives, and how we can apply these at DFDS. I’m sure these are going to be 10 intensive and very exciting months!”

Head of CSR Sofie Hebeltoft is joining the pair in a supporting role for the duration of the programme, and will be their ‘Champion,’ as the role is known. She will help Johanna and Lee develop their solutions and get the most out of the programme.

“The programme will increase knowledge of sustainability and innovation in the business, and hopefully Lee and Johanna can help DFDS to be even more innovative when it comes to sustainability at DFDS after the project is over,” says Sofie.

If you want to read more about the Global Compact programme, you can find information here.

In this video, Johanna and Lee present themselves and talk about the programme

DFDS supports World Mental Health Day

Everyone can spend 40 seconds per day to ask if a colleague is OK. It’s high on the agenda at DFDS.

Tragically, too many people die of suicide because they don’t ask for help or talk about depressive or suicidal feelings. And many feel stigmatised because of mental health issues.

At DFDS, Gemma Griffin, VP of HR & Crewing in BU Short routes and Passenger, has been advocating Mental Well Being initiatives for quite some time to ensure that people are not stigmatised because of mental health issues in the work place.

And today, Thursday 10 October there is support for her work. DFDS is supporting the World Health Organisations 40 seconds of action campaign #40seconds, and they are asking us to improve awareness of suicide, improve knowledge of what can be done to prevent it and reduce the stigma associated with it so people who struggle with it know that they are not alone. .

We can all contribute: The campaign asks us to commit at least 40 seconds of our day. “Someone dies as a result of suicide every 40 seconds. It takes 40 seconds to start a conversation with someone and ask them if they are ok. It takes 40 seconds to start a conversation with someone and tell them that you are not feeling ok,” says the campaign.

“For me it’s fantastic that we have one day a year dedicated to Mental Health issues. However, it is simply not enough. That is why I am so pleased and so proud that DFDS have at the core of its Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy ‘Caring Employer’ where Wellbeing for all employees is a key ambition, “ says Gemma.

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR adds: “When we talk about wellbeing in DFDS, we address the whole person – body and mind, round the clock. Some may think that it is possible to leave troubles at home when driving to work – but it’s not, and we shouldn’t try to do so. Personally, I have started several meetings by sharing personal feelings and pains because saying it out loud reduces the size of it and gives me the opportunity to focus. And it’s of great value to me, that I work with colleagues who care and where it is ok not to be ok”

Every HR contact in DFDS has been supplied with a pack of activities and resources to give you some inspiration as to how to spend your 40 seconds or more today.